F1 » 26 April 2008
Israel cancels Mosley invite.
Coverage of Max Mosley's private life continues to dog the FIA president's role as the head of international motorsport, with Israel deciding to withdraw an invitation for him to visit the country.
Mosley had received the invitation after meeting Israeli sports minister Galeb Majadle at the Jordan Rally this weekend, but the offer was made without the minister being aware of recent tabloid reports of the president's participation in a sado-masochistic orgy with prostitutes allegedly dressed as concentration camp prisoners. Once the detail became known, the minister decided that it would not be appropriate to play host to Mosley.
"During the meeting between the two in Jordan, the subject of FIA support of Israeli motor sports, which is in its first stages, was raised, and a proposal was made that the FIA will follow the development of the sport in Israel," a statement from Majadle's office confirmed.
"The minister, who was not aware of the current scandal, emphasises that the invitation was not a personal invitation to Mr Mosley, but an invitation for the entire federation, as an international body. After the issue was raised with the minister, however, he asked to immediately halt any formal invitation to Mr. Mosley until the minister returns to Israel."
The governing body responded with a statement of its own, explaining that it understood why the invitation was withdrawn.
"The FIA is grateful to Galeb Majadle for extending the FIA an invitation to visit Israel," it said, "The FIA is delighted with the recent legalisation of motor sport in the country and intends to offer the minister every assistance in what promises to be a major addition to motor sport in the region.
"The FIA understands the circumstances under which the Minister's invitation has now been withdrawn."
The statement also quoted Mosley as saying: “I fully understand the Minister's position and look forward to resuming contact with him when the News of the World's deliberate and calculated lies have been comprehensively refuted.”
The president is in Jordan this weekend as the country makes its debut in the World Rally Championship, but misses the Spanish Grand Prix, the first F1 round on European soil this season. He also avoided the Bahrain GP three weeks ago - shortly after the story broke - after a request from the royal family to stay away.
Mosley has so far refused to stand down over the scandal, but faces a FIA general assembly vote on 3 June, shortly after the Monaco Grand Prix, which he says he intends to attend.
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